A couple of Saturdays back we went to Huddersfield for the day. I’d only been once before and that was ages ago, so it was definitely time for another visit. I really love Huddersfield, it has some of the best Victorian, Modern and Brutalist architecture I’ve ever seen. It’s worth spending the day there just to check out the buildings. Even the 1970s carpark is bloody great! (in my opinion anyway!)
As soon as you leave the carpark and approach the main shopping precinct you’re greeted with this magnificent view.
This is Buxton House, a high rise block of flats just off the main shopping precinct. There’s a walkway which goes right underneath the building and I love the mural, by Richard Fletcher. The flats and mural date from 1968.
One of the main places we wanted to go was the market. It’s an open market, quite old fashioned with little cafes, fruit and veg stalls, plus loads of bric-a-brac and records. You can get anything! We were in there ages, you need to get there early on a Saturday I think as they start packing up about three and close at 3.30pm.
I picked up a few little treasures for the Magic Town Midway shop, I could have spent all day in there.
There’s a really nice big shopping centre in Huddersfield called Kingsgate, but the market was definitely the best, and mostly we spent the rest of the day looking round charity shops of course! We also went in Lidl to get some crisps, and a cool record shop called Vinyl Tap.
My favourite thing I love about Huddersfield is definitely the architecture, and all the different types. Below (clockwise from top left) – The Library and Art Gallery built 1937, Lion Chambers built 1853, Kirkpatrick Buildings built 1883, The Concert Hall (part of the Town Hall) opened in 1881. I really like the lion on top of the Lion Chambers but I found out he’s not the original from 1853… that one was so badly erroded by the 1970s that he was replaced by today’s lion, who is made of fibreglass!! (He was also wearing a scarf on the day we visited.) It’s kind of disappointing that he’s not real, but funny at the same time. It’s good that he’s still there in some form at least.
This is Westgate House, a mid 19th century building with a frontage which was rebuilt in the 1920s.
We also popped into the Byram Arcade which is just opposite Westgate House. It was built as as a retail development in 1881/82, and has an amazing interior. There is a good art shop inside.
The old Co-operative building on New Street is another one of my modern 30s favourites. It isn’t in use at the moment and I don’t think it has been for awhile. It was built in 1936 (opened 1937) and has really cool block lettering and a long tiled glass window on the corner. It’s very grand and I think it was one of the finest examples of a department store anywhere in the country when it opened. It has also housed a nightclub and a music school in more recent years, and part of the building is now Wilkinsons. I hope a new use is found for it, it would be terrible if it got knocked down. More about the building here.
Opposite the Co-operative building… all the concrete slabs above Home Bargains are a real contrast to the opposite side!
I really like this street and the random mix of buildings. You can’t beat a good old shopping precinct, that’s what I always say!
Here are a few more views around Huddersfield. I seriously think I could spend a whole week here, a day was not enough to look round all the charity shops, plus the market AND see all the architecture too! There’s so much we didn’t get to see yet. Clockwise from top left – Mural on Ramsden Street (The Development of the Woollen Industry From a Cottage Craft Practised as an Ancillary to Farming, Up to the Beginning of the Industrial Revolution, 1966) by Harold Blackburn, a view of New Street, Mural on Princess Street (Facets of the Local Scene, 1967) by Mural Consultants, a view of Station Street.
We also wanted to go into the train station to see if we could get a glimpse of Felix, the Huddersfield Station cat, but she wasn’t around in the main entrance and we couldn’t get onto the platform for a better look! I have never seen a more grand station than this one. It was built in the 1840s at the end of the Industrial Revolution.
We did see this magnificent portrait of Felix, which is up on the wall. Underneath it says “Felix”, painted by Rob Martin, 2016. Frame lovingly constructed by Little and Often. Dedicated to the memory of Kenny Everett, this painting is £75,000.00.
Check out Felix’s facebook page and follow her for news and updates! Next time maybe we’ll have to go to Huddersfield on the train!